Christ Washing the Apostles' Feet

Simon Beningabout 1525–1530

The J. Paul Getty Museum

The J. Paul Getty Museum
Los Angeles, United States

Having wrapped a towel around himself, Christ washes the feet of his apostles at the Last Supper. Simon Bening focused his image on Saint Peter's shocked reaction to the idea of Christ washing his feet. Peter throws his hands up into the air in an ostentatious gesture of disbelief that seems to be answered by Christ's own intent movements. The other disciples register their discomfort in varying responses. Seated along the length of the walls of the room, they alternately lean forward and back, creating a sense of visual unrest in the miniature. To make the viewer feel that the event had been captured at a very specific moment in time, Bening represented the water as if it was about to spill over the lip of the basin held by the boy.


  • Title: Christ Washing the Apostles' Feet
  • Creator: Simon Bening
  • Date Created: about 1525–1530
  • Location Created: Bruges, Belgium
  • Physical Dimensions: Leaf: 16.8 × 11.4 cm (6 5/8 × 4 1/2 in.)
  • Type: Folio
  • External Link: Find out more about this object on the Museum website.
  • Medium: Tempera colors, gold paint, and gold leaf on parchment
  • Terms of Use: Open Content
  • Number: 83.ML.115.87v
  • Culture: Flemish
  • Credit Line: The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, Ms. Ludwig IX 19, fol. 87v
  • Creator Display Name: Simon Bening (Flemish, about 1483 - 1561)
  • Classification: Manuscripts (Documents)

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